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Human Exceptionalism

Life and dignity with Wesley J. Smith.

The Folly of Proposition 71’s “Fools Gold Rush”



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California is once again sinking into the quicksand of red ink. Latest estimates show that the state must cut its budget by $10 billion! This will come out of the hides of university students, poor people needing health care, and other areas of urgent state concern.

But "the scientists" will still reap their $300 million a year in borrowed money to pursue human cloning research! For as I pointed out back in 2004 during the campaign, under the wording of Proposition 71, which is now embedded in the state constitution:
Biotech companies and researchers must to be paid an average of $295 million per year no matter how bad the California economy becomes. The CSCRCA is a constitutional amendment that would require funds to "be continuously appropriated without regard to fiscal year, be available only for the purposes provided herein, and shall not be subject to appropriation or transfer by the Legislature or the Governor for any other purpose." In other words, the measure explicitly removes funding decisions from the California legislature. This means that even if Los Angeles falls into the Pacific, biotech researchers must receive their $295 million in research grants every year.
This was just one reason why Investor's Business Daily once called Proposition 71 a "fools gold rush." Indeed. Don't the New Jersey voters who turned down their own version of Proposition 71 look prescient now?


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